Twitter does not have to face accusations that it aided and abetted terrorism when it hosted tweets made by the terrorist group ISIS, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
The court also dismissed a closely-watched lawsuit over the moderation of social media content in a case involving Google, skipping a ruling that legal experts warned could’ g can raise the wider internet.
The decisions are victories for Twitter and other tech platforms that have faced multiple lawsuits from critics who say they should be held legally responsible for social harm, including terrorist attack.
The Twitter decision was unanimous and was written by Justice Clarence Thomas.
The court stated that Twitter’s hosting of general terrorist speech does not create indirect legal responsibility for specific terrorist attacks, effectively raising the bar for future such attacks. – claim. Twitter has ruled a major defeat for tech critics who say that social media platforms should be held accountable with the threat of more lawsuits.
“We conclude,” Thomas wrote, “that the plaintiffs’ allegations are insufficient to establish that these defendants aided and abetted ISIS in carrying out the relevant attack.”
He emphasized that the plaintiffs “fail to allege that the defendants knowingly provided any substantial assistance” to the attack at issue, nor did they “widely and systematically” assist ISIS in a manner that would make them responsible for “every ISIS attack.”
In carrying terrorist speech, social media platforms differ little from other digital technologies, the opinion says.
“It may be that bad actors like ISIS are able to use platforms like the defendants for illegal — and sometimes horrific — ends,” Thomas wrote. “But the same can be done with cell phones, email, or the internet in general.”
This story is breaking and will be updated.